Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Glacier Loss In Alaska And Around The World

A new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder predicts the rate of icebergs breaking off of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier will significantly slow within the next decade. It will be interesting to see how the slowdown of the dramatic discharge of ice in Alaska will affect sea level change. Alaska glaciers, like Tracy Arm’s South Sawyer Glacier pictured here, have been shedding about 46 billion tons of ice each year, making it the world’s single biggest contributor to glacier-fed sea level rise outside of Greenland or Antarctica, according to another study by the University of Colorado at Boulder. But Alaska is a small player in the global ice melt, producing only about 8.5 percent of the world’s annual glacier shrinkage of 526 billion tons. Most of Alaska’s annual ice loss occurs in the snow-bound coastal ranges that crown the Gulf of Alaska, and it’s a huge chunk — contributing about one third of the 150 billion tons of total annual ice loss from 18 regions around the globe outside of the two much larger continental sources. Only shrinkage by the glaciers on Baffin Island (about 35 billion tons) and the Ellesmere Island area (about 34 billion tons) rival the …

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Glacial Ice Labyrinth

                                                An ephemeral piece of glacial ice drifts away from South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm on its journey of no return.

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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Harbor Seal Refuge At South Sawyer Glacier

Several hundred harbor seals rest on ice floes as huge chunks of ice fall off the face of South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm. Earlier in June, the pregnant females gave birth on the ice floes to their pups. Harbor seals pick the end of the fjord, as it is generally a safe area from predators such as sea lions or orcas.

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